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Philadelphia Independent, R.I.P.

Arriving in my inbox this morning was the following sad news from The Philadelphia Independent, a very fine alternative newspaper that I only recently stumbled across. Diverse viewpoints like those of TPI are needed now, more than ever. They will be missed.


Dear Sirs & Madams,

We're currently at work on the Independent's next issue, our twenty-first in nearly three years. It will be out in late December, and it will also be the last issue of the Independent you'll see for a while, maybe the last one for good. After the issue is out, we'll close our office down, slash our payroll to zero, and, following a long-postponed visit to the dentist, start looking around for other work.

Our goal was to give Philadelphia a newspaper of quality and dispel any notion that you need much in the way of money or experience to create such a newspaper. In our first issue, we wrote that we hoped to capture worthy but overlooked subjects in print and remind our readers of the relationship newspapers used to have with cities. In the process, we hoped to change the ways Philadelphia thinks of itself. By these measures, we consider the Independent a success.

The Independent wasn't born as a business, and has thoroughly resisted all attempts to turn into one. Frankly, we are amazed that the Independent has survived and broken even for three years while violating most every rule of (financially) successful newspaper publishing. The only thing we can attribute this longevity to is you--your willingness as contributors, advertisers and readers to throw your support behind this project. Because of you, we've had three years to learn and improve and share stories and art from Philadelphia with thousands of readers around the world.

Last week, we received a letter from a reader named Jessica, who lives in New York but visited Philadelphia as a volunteer during the presidential campaign. She writes: "I've never had such a feeling of love at first sight for a newspaper. Your brilliant masthead and headlines were what first drew me in, but I was impressed by the intelligence and creativity apparent in every eclectic detail, and that a local paper could have features and journalism that speak so relevantly about national and international issues. Every article I read made me want to read further, and I've never felt this way about the Village Voice or the New York Press..."

She has you to thank, and so do we. We're going to throw you and the rest of the city a party in late January, the time and place of which will be published in the next issue. After the issue is out, we'll be happy to sit down with anyone who's interested in picking up where we're leaving off, or discussing how the Independent could eventually resume publication.

In the meantime, send us your free classifieds! All proclamations, personals, rooms for rent, pets for sale, free band names, calls for submissions, and brief farewells are welcome. Send them to editors@philadelphiaindependent.net by this Friday at 8 p.m.

Sincerely,

The Editors

December 1, 2004 in Zines | Permalink

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